Motherhood=Surrender

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Motherhood is teaching me sweet sweet surrender in every moment. What a lesson in impermanence. Where there is growth, there is letting go while trying to hold on.

Motherhood is teaching me surrender. Everyday as my daughter grows, transforms, and changes instantly, I am faced with impermanence. The sacred lesson of the divine feminine is that of surrender. As women, we learn the subtleties of letting go when we give birth, love, raise children, and as our bodies transform with every cycle of the moon. We intimately know the workings of the divine feminine.

Indira has taught me surrender. She’s the greatest teacher as every child is. My daughter’s condition Tuberous Sclerosis Complex has also taught me surrender. Honestly, it would be easy for me to worry every minute of the day about Indira– worry if she is going to have a seizure, or suddenly regress, or start to have behavioral issues, or grow skin lesions on her beautiful face, or be diagnosed with Autism. Yes, that is all possible. I worry she will have a seizure in the middle of the night, or when I am not near her. It’s part of being her mother and a mother. You worry. You cry. You laugh. You practice patience. You let go of trying to control. I surrender to the moment. The moments that are incredible, beautiful, and sweet as well as completely uncomfortable and incredibly challenging.

I feel so deeply that when we allow ourselves to surrender we create space for the present moment to unfold. We allow it to be all that it can be and possibly more.

P.S. Today, I am grateful and feel blessed that my daughter is miraculously beating all the odds. She’s doing well, and is seizure free. She’s smart and engaged in all of life. She’s happy.  I’ll pray for that daily. Blessed be.

Shadow and Light

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We are being asked to allow light to permeate shadow.

We are being asked to wake up to a new paradigm one of equality and non-duality.

We perceive light and shadow as separate energies. We push darkness out and deny it’s existence in ourselves, our lives, and in our society. We successfully hide it until it shows itself. We don’t want to talk about it out of fear or for other reasons. We are conditioned to being afraid of our own shadow, others, and society’s shadow. Shadow and light is the same divine energy–potent and creative.

What if we acknowledged the illusion that we have created? The illusion of separateness.

Our co-created reality of separateness has led to violence, isolation, depression, and inequality.

We are all divine creations.

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Musings on Sangha

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Every Sunday, my family would put on their “church clothes,” rush around the house to get ready for church, and somehow make it in time to Sunday mass. We didn’t have a choice. The choice was church. We were Roman Catholic. My father was a former Benedictine monk, and my aunt was a Benedictine sister. And, come to find out St. Frances Cabrini is a distant relative. I think somewhere in the family tree there are a few priests too. Church was in my lineage. It was an obligation. I complied at a young age, and then fought the very fact that I had to go to church on Sunday. If I was out late the night before and not feeling so pleasant in the morning, my father would drag me out of bed to go to church. I began to reject my families religion, which led to many arguments and debates.

I didn’t care for organized religion, and didn’t like being forced to believe in a religion that somehow was making me feel bad about myself. I wondered where was the spirit, why would “God” make you earn happiness or heaven, why would you be punished for simply being human, and why did everyone have to make you  feel so guilty. (On a side note, I still pray daily to the Mother Mary. She embodies the divine goddess after all.)  However, I later found that Buddhism gave me what I felt was missing from the religion I grew up with. Buddhism provided practical teachings for how to live life in harmony with myself and others, and that heaven/light was right here not in some lofty land up above. This I could connect to.

At first, it took me awhile to gravitate to the notion of sangha. Admittedly, I still don’t get high on having to participate in a group meditation. I don’t go to regular meditation, and haven’t found a group that I connect to here. The sangha you do decide to sit with is a little like choosing a family. The energy has to be like synapses connecting instantaneously. I have found this to be true for me.

Well, I’ve abandoned the anti-sangha ship. Sangha is important. I didn’t know just how, until I realized how much community is in my life.  It’s where I find support, love, and sustenance. Sangha is the community we create with our friends, family, yoga class, and in our own homes. It is not limited to four-walls. Sangha is the collective energy we create with love.

I feel that we are deeply missing community in our society and everyday lives. Community brings love, support, guidance, and a deeper connection to ourselves,  and that in turn creates peace in our communities. There is so much violence happening in our world, because so many feel disconnected from a community and a place that they can go home to.

May we all cultivate peace and love.

 

Thoughts on Equanimity

“(The) inner journey has no end…everything on (the) outside is rooted deep inside of you…” Lama Pema

The inner journey is a process of uncovering your inner grace. As Lama Pema, says, it has no end, or as I sometimes tell my yoga students, there is no end point. This journey is what feeds, fulfills, and in turn it provides soul nourishment. From this we then come to a place of grounded awareness. In life, when we come from a place of grounded awareness, we meet the present moment fully. And, here is where we meet equanimity in our lives.

Equanimity in life comes from taking time on our inner journey.

I used to struggle with equanimity as a concept. It seemed like this advanced Buddhist practice that my mind had trouble understanding. Yet, it seemed so important to cultivate and work towards.  As I spent this week brainstorming and meditating on my next blog post, equanimity became clear. Equanimity is a gift of the “inner journey.”  Taking the time to cultivate an inner journey and “go inwards” has made a difference. The blessing is being able to, most of the time, meet life as it comes.
Inner Journey Practice Points

1. If you’re the type of person to enjoy retreating, like myself, possibly find a balance between time spent out in the world and retreating.

2. You may find out that you have some stuff to work on. It’s human. And, even the great masters had stuff.

3. It’s easy to get caught up in the external world especially when unexpected events happen.  We can use these moments to practice “going in” by being mindful and aware of what we may need to change within ourselves to respond to life’s events with equanimity.

4. Hang out in your own sacred space, and get to know that place well.

5. No one can tell you how to experience this journey, for its yours alone.